Babysitter arrested after child found wandering alone in Elkhart

UPDATE 10:20 p.m. The child has been reunited with her father, according to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. The child left the child in the care of a babysitter while her father went to work.

Stephanie Dearling-Tibbs, 31, was arrested and incarcerated at the Elkhart County Correctional facility for multiple charges after an investigation into a found child led officers to her home at Overlook Apartments.  Dearling-Tibbs was the babysitter in charge of watching over the child, according to the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.

A search warrant was served on the apartment and multiple drugs including methamphetamine, marijuana, amphetamine salts, an antidepressant and drug paraphernalia items were located, the sheriff’s department stated.

Dearling-Tibbs was preliminarily charged with Neglect of a Dependent, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Legend Drug, Misdemeanor charges of Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

ORIGINAL STORY: A small child was found walking alone in the Overlook Apartment complex in the 58000 block of State Road 19 and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department is trying to locate the child’s parents or guardians.

Officers were called to the apartment complex around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17 after somebody spotted the child walking toward State Road 19, according to the sheriff’s department.

(Photo supplied/Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office)

Officers worked with staff from the complex and went door to door to each apartment in an attempt to find the child’s guardian.

The Indiana Department of Child Services was contacted and took protective custody of the child, the sheriff’s department reported.

The child, whose identity is not known, is described as a white female with brown hair and brown eyes.

She was wearing a white top with multi-colored shorts and pink shoes.

Anybody with information about her identity or who knows her parents or guardian is asked to contact the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department at 574-533-4151.